Tuesday’s Travel Rant: Where Ya From? I’m From Denver GRRRRR

by Johnny Ward

Breathe johnny boy, breathe. It’ll be ok.

 

Question: “Where you from guys?”

ME:” “Ireland”

GUY 2: “Colombia”

GUY 3: “China” 

ASSHOLE GUY 4: “Denver”  WTF?!?!?!?!

 

The arrogance is overwhelming. Do I call him out? Or do I stick by the pretend-to-be-nice-when-you’re-in-a-hostel rule?

brash american

I’m from Denver y’all

Where the f*ck do people like this  get off? Listen Mr Asshole Guy 4, look at the pattern, you see what we’ve done there? We’ve all listed OUR COUNTRIES. Can you see a pattern emerging? Let me make it more simple for you, when people ask us where we’re from, we tell them our country first. If they know it well, then we can expand. You, however, decided to not only not say which country you’re from, but you didn’t even go for a state (not that that’s acceptable either). Nope, straight to the city. Good work mate :P

 

Why the hell should we know where Denver ? There are plenty of things to do in Denver, but that doesn’t mean the entire world knows that! Ironically, the biggest clue to what country it is in is that fact that only people from your country would ever be presumptuous enough to assume we’d know!

 

If guy number 3 says “Chongqing”, you’d look at him like he had two heads. Maybe even turn and giggle to your buddies at the crazy Asian guy, listing a random Asian city. Yet that city is 6 times the size of Denver. But does the Chinese guy arrogantly assume you’ll know what country that’s in, no of course not, and there my friend is a lesson in humility.

 

This post applies to other countries too (raise your hand, you know if it’s you!) and it literally happens almost every day when I travel. And everyday I try to bite my tongue. So in a hopeless quest to education the pompous, conceited people who do this, I’ve written this article. Is this passive-aggressive? Absolutely, I don’t deny it, but I needed to get it off my chest.

 

If you’ve done this before, shame on you. If you haven’t, I bet you’ve been in situations where people from certain economic powerhouses have. Please forward this article to any d*ck that does this. They need to learn. Thank you.

 

 

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30 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Travel Rant: Where Ya From? I’m From Denver GRRRRR

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  2. Stacy

    Johnny I have the opposite problem to this, I’m Welsh, very few people know where this is outside of Western Europe, so I always have to say I’m from Britain, to which people reply “Oh, you’re English” or “You’re from England”. No, I’m from Wales, I’m Welsh, but no one gets it & have to resign myself to being ‘English’ :(

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      u never have to do that Stacy, firstly because you’re a) British and b) Welsh, if people can’t comprehend that then allow them to feel ignorant, it’s not your problem :)

      Reply
  3. Liam

    Guilty as charged! Coming from NY state I always said “New york” when asked where I’m from. This was helpful in alot of ways. First, I didn’t make the “I’m from America” mistake that so understandably annoys our southern cousins. Second, everyone person I mentioned it to when I was traveling had heard of New York (except one wizened old Thai lady). And third, New Yorkers have alot more credibility to the rest of the world than a plain old american. New Yorkers are supposed to be cool. Americans are a bit obnoxious. I’d even tell them I’m from upstate and they’d still think that was neat. I did feel like an asshole sometimes, but because of my arrogance I managed to avoid the other pitfalls associated with being an american traveler.

    Reply
  4. Hogga

    I’m with you Johnny… but we have to play the game because Americans study their own country so hard we have to give them a chance to show it off!:p

    Reply
  5. Annelise

    Hahaha, patience Johnny – don´t poison yourself when you find arrogance and/or lack of education, or else….be gentle with people in order to educate them, if it is your goal?:)
    How about if a Ugandan boy tells you, ¨I am from Kampala¨ Would you criticize him or ask him, where Kampala is? In case you don´t know of course ;)
    How do you think a South American – Peruvian feels living in ¨America¨ hearing all those answers all the time? Cheer up! You have a long path to walk still. Blessings

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      it’s my goal, just with a little pizzaz on the way :P And yeah our Ugandan friend he should start with his country, although i do love Kampala actually, despite getting robbed there!

      Reply
  6. Harri H.

    Back when I was San Francisco I had to take it other way around. I quickly got into a habit of answering I’m from Scandinavia or just Northern Europe instead of Finland. Most of the time people either gave me a funny look or misheard it as “Philadelphia” or similar when I answered I’m from there. People seemed to think it as part of Russia or even didn’t have any idea where it is. Not sure if it was my pronounciation or generally American’s lack of knowledge in geography though. It’s not that I want to stereotype people however, everyone was really friendly and nice otherwise and was fascinated about meeting someone from such an “exotic” country – so at least it was a great conversation starter! :)

    Reply
    1. Christine

      Have you tried saying “land of Nokia, you know?” LOL. I just dated an amazing guy last week and he is originally from Finland but stayed in the US for the last 6 yrs for his MIT and Harvard dreams. Anyways I didnt know prior to our date and could have done fool of myself by asking “where on earth is that?” if I didn’t use Nokia phones during its heyday. And if not for this funny tv ad for milk I have seen when I was in grade school where in a pre-school teacher asked her students what is the capital city of the countries she mentioned. Different brand users answered all questions confidently. But guess what? They all became speechless when asked what is the capital city of Finland. And the kid who answered it smugly, SURPRISINGLY, is the one who used the brand who paid the tv commercial. Ha! The people you’ve met are not ignorant. They just used the wrong brand of milk when they were kids! ;)

      Reply
  7. Beth

    Ha ha! Johnny, you’re great. I do it too, but I think it’s just because we don’t have a great/easy to say name for our country.

    “America” is easy to say and recognizable but Central and South Americans get really pissed.

    I usually say “The States” but have been even called pretentious for that – because I’m assuming everyone knows which collection of states I’m referring to?

    “USA” is super cheesy and sounds like a bunch of frat boys chanting while they’re doing something stupid.

    “US” is way too short and people mishear me. “You ask?” which I usually have to follow up by saying,

    “United States” which is fine, but it’s 4 more syllables and “United” is kind of annoying to say. (No one says “United Kingdom” or “United Arab Emirates”, right? But UK and UAE are both more distinct sounding and easier to recognize than US)

    And I’m not running for president so I’m not about to say, “The United States of America.” That the worst.

    But you know what is quick, easy to say, and easily understood immediately by everyone I’ve ever met?

    “New York.”

    Yup.

    I’m sure regional pride has to do with it as well. I’m super psyched to be from New York, which sounds like I hang out with famous people and take the subway everywhere, and much less excited about being from the US, which just sounds like I’m a farmer, with some guns who voted for Bush. Maybe if we cared more about international sports, we could muster up a little more national pride to travel around with.

    But… if the question were “What are you?” I’d easily say “I’m American” (Central and South Americans can’t get pissed about this – we have no other options, right?) and would never say “I’m a New Yorker” so it’s not totally a pride thing, I think we just have no good way to say our country without getting yelled at or sounding more pretentious.

    Also, like Phil said, in the past when I tried harder to not piss off the Johnny’s of the world, people followed up by asking where in the States I’m from 100% of the time.

    And for the record, I’ve heard people from Paris, London, Moscow, Sydney and Madrid all jump to cities. I personally think it’s okay, but it has to be a major city (of which Denver is not one).

    Last note… if it were a group of people listing countries, I would stick to the pattern. My rant is mostly for the one-off “Where are you from?” questions.

    - Beth from New York =)

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      they should get pissed if you say ‘america’, it’s not your country! And USA/US should be fine cos it is your country!! NYC is a lot more excusable cos in fairness it’s more famous than half the countries in the world BUT that being said, a little humility goes a long way :)

      Reply
  8. brandy bell

    busted! totally busted and without an excuse other than the fact that i love california. my ego is usually rewarded with “ahhh california, i love miami!” (which is in florida state) and reminds me that i am an asshole for assuming everyone knows the geography of our country.

    as a product of our society, i have to say- we’re taught that everyone knows everything about america*- and wants to be american. being on the road is one way of showing us that is just another great big american lie :)

    great article, johnny- keep it up!

    *i mean USA

    Reply
  9. Phil

    I’m also guilty of answering with my state, but I feel its for good reason. I usually say the US, but if I do answer in this fashion, then I’m guaranteed a follow up question, “Which part?” It happens 100% of the time, so sometimes I just skip ahead. It’s natural to be more efficient. Granted, I do agree that if you were allowed to say a city, which you aren’t, then Denver isn’t one of them.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      it’s because ppl know a lot about the geography of the US cos of the media, still though – play the game Phil, country first!

      Reply
  10. Erica

    ahahaha sorry, I totally do this! Well, I usually specify “Washington State in the US” because if I don’t, I usually end up getting asked loads of questions about LA, Texas, and other places I know very little about and then get questioned about why I don’t know my own country, which I find annoying and tedious. So sorry, I’m totally that asshole, but I promise there’s a reason behind it!

    Reply

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